1st Annual State of Our Union Address
Do you like the title of this post? It was Michael's idea. Clever, huh? It's awfully official sounding though, and really this is just stuff I've been thinking about. But, I hadn't come up with a title and I couldn't resist using the one he came up with. : )
It strikes me that we’ve been doing ttwd for almost a year now. This time last year we weren’t in a great place in our marriage, but at least we had started talking about it and realized that we still loved each other and didn’t want things to be the way they were. We also realized that if we didn’t want to end up divorced at some point, we really needed to make some changes. We’d grown apart. It was easy to let happen really, especially with Michael being gone so much.
To tell you the truth, I don’t think people who know us have really noticed any changes in our relationship. At least if they have, no one has mentioned it. However, our kids have certainly noticed. They’ve noticed that I’m much less stressed out and that Michael and I actually seem to enjoy spending time with one another (so much so that sometimes we even close ourselves in our bedroom and let the kids know we’re not to be disturbed), they’ve noticed that we hold hands and kiss more, and that we actually discuss things rather than arguing so much. Those are big changes and I know our kids are happier because we’re happier. Michael and I aren’t really prone to airing our marital difficulties to our friends and family, so I would imagine that they didn’t really know the state our marriage was in before we started doing ttwd. It was much harder to hide that from our kids and I’m sad to know the bad example we set for them for awhile, but I’m glad that we’ve been working hard on changing things.
I see Michael and I working as a team much more these days. I’ve seen a lot of growth in my husband and I’m proud of him. I know his role in our relationship isn’t an easy one. I guess I’ll admit that I’ve seen some growth in myself as well. We both have our shortcomings and things we need to work on, and things don’t always go smoothly. But, we don’t give up on each other; we stick it out and work through things. We’re relearning how to trust, how to be open and vulnerable, how to communicate and not just jump to our own conclusions, actually listening to what the other person is saying instead. To be honest with you, while I knew that we were in a bad place in our relationship before we started doing ttwd, I didn’t realize just how bad it was. I wasn't aware of just how out of sync we were and of all the things, both big and little, that were contributing to the problem. Rebuilding a marriage isn’t an easy task. There have been plenty of misunderstandings and rough spots along the way. But, all the good that has come of our efforts far outweighs any of the negatives.
While I think we have come a long way from where we were a year ago, I know that it would be easy to end up there again. I mean, we never intended to end up there before, but that’s where we found ourselves. And that’s where ttwd comes in. It’s a relationship tool. We can use it to help us stay connected, to help us try to do and be our best, to sort out differences of opinion, to reinforce the roles we've agreed to take on in our marriage, to foster closeness and intimacy, and so many other positive things. It's really much more than just some spanking, though for us that certainly plays a part. We’re dedicated to seeing this marriage thing through, and not just for show, but for real. We both want the best for each other, for us as a couple, for our children, and for our family as a whole. I feel blessed that we’ve found something that has helped us work on and improve things in our relationship. I'm much happier these days, much more content and I look forward to where this journey leads us next. : )
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7